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American culture changed forever in the latter part of the twentieth c

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American culture changed forever in the latter part of the twentieth c  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Feb 2018, 03:45
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American culture changed forever in the latter part of the twentieth century with the advent of pop music. Before the 1950s music defined its own circles, but, at best, only shaded the frame of popular American culture. The birth of Rock and Roll forever changed that as larger and larger numbers of youth came, not only to identify with the music they were listening to, but to identify themselves by that music.

We use pop songs to create for ourselves a particular sort of selfdefinition, a particular place in society. The pleasure that a pop song produces is a pleasure of identification: in responding to a song, we are drawn into affective and emotional alliances with the performers and with the performers' other fans. Thus music, like sport, is clearly a setting in which people directly experience community, feel an immediate bond with other people, and articulate a collective pride.

At the same time, because of its qualities of abstractness, pop music is an individualizing form. Songs have a looseness of reference that makes them immediately accessible. They are open to appropriation for personal use in a way that other popular cultural forms (television soap operas, for example) are not—the latter are tied into meanings which we may reject.

This interplay between personal absorption into music and the sense that it is, nevertheless, something public, is what makes music so important in the cultural placing of the individual. Music also gives us a way of managing the relationship between our public and private emotional lives. Popular love songs are important because they give shape and voice to emotions that otherwise cannot be expressed without embarrassment or incoherence. Our most revealing declarations of feeling are often expressed in banal or boring language and so our culture has a supply of pop songs that say these things for us in interesting and involving ways.

Popular music also shapes popular memory, and organizes our sense of time. Clearly one of the effects of all music, not just pop, is to focus our attention on the feeling of time, and intensify our experience of the present. One measure of good music is its "presence," its ability to "stop" time, to make us feel we are living within a moment, with no memory or anxiety about what has come before us, what will come after. It is this use of time that makes popular music so important in the social organization of youth. We invest most in popular music when we are teenagers and young adults—music ties into a particular kind of emotional turbulence, when issues of individual identity and social place, the control of public and private feelings, are at a premium. What this suggests, though, is not that young people need music, but that "youth" itself is defined by music. Youth is experienced, that is, as an intense presence, through an impatience for time to pass and a regret that it is doing so, in a series of speeding, physically insistent moments that have nostalgia coded into them.

1. The author's primary purpose in this passage in discussing popular music is to:

A. account for the importance of popular music in youth culture.
B. contrast several sociological theories about popular music.
C. compare popular music with other forms of popular culture.
D. outline the social functions of popular music.
E. describe how popular music originated


2. While there are obviously many differences between the two, the author of the passage suggests that one similarity between popular and classical music is that both:
A. articulate a sense of community and collective pride.
B. give shape to inexpressible emotions.
C. emphasize the feeling of time.
D. define particular age groups.
E. are timeless in nature



3. It can be inferred from the passage that the author's attitude towards love songs in popular music is that of being:

A. bored by the banality of their language.
B. embarrassed by their emotional incoherence.
C. interested by their expressions of feeling.
D. unimpressed by their social function.
E. disgusted by their mushiness


4. Regardless of what the purpose of the passage is as a whole, in the last paragraph, the author is predominantly concerned with:

A. defining the experience of youth.
B. describing how popular music defines youth.
C. speculating about the organization of youth movements.
D. analyzing the relationship between music and time.
E. describing the decline of popular music


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Re: American culture changed forever in the latter part of the twentieth c  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Feb 2018, 09:58
Q1 - I marked A , can some one explain how did they choose D over A

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Re: American culture changed forever in the latter part of the twentieth c  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Feb 2018, 13:24
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akshata19 wrote:
Q1 - I marked A , can some one explain how did they choose D over A

Thanks in advance

A relates to the importance of popular music in youth culture. If you summarize each paragraph you will see that only the last paragraph is predominantely concerned with the question how popular music influences youth. The other paragraphs focus on the social effects on persons in general.

D refers to the social functions of music, which definitely together are a major topic in the passage as a whole.

I hope that makes sense to you :-)
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Re: American culture changed forever in the latter part of the twentieth c  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Feb 2018, 01:04
Can someone explain why answer to second question is C?
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Re: American culture changed forever in the latter part of the twentieth c  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Feb 2018, 04:24
madvarsha14 wrote:
Can someone explain why answer to second question is C?

The question asks for the resemblance between popular and classic music.

The answer can be found in the fifth paragraph "Clearly one of the effects of all music, not just pop, is to focus our attention on the feeling of time, and intensify our experience of the present"

As you can see, classic music isn't called by its name there, but that makes finding the correct answer more difficult. However, classic music is obviously some kind music and therefore the quoted sentence gives us the answer here.

I hope that helps :-)
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Re: American culture changed forever in the latter part of the twentieth c  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Feb 2018, 17:19
akshata19 wrote:
Q1 - I marked A , can some one explain how did they choose D over A

Thanks in advance


Hi,

Option A is too specific to the last paragraph, D generalises the main point of the passage - Popular music to the society as a a whole.

Hope that helps.

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Re: American culture changed forever in the latter part of the twentieth c  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Oct 2018, 11:11

Topic and Scope

- The three social functions of popular music

Mapping the Passage


¶1 discusses the advent of pop music and the birth of Rock and Roll.
¶s2 and 3 discuss popular music‘s function of creating identity.
¶4 discusses its function in the management of feelings.
¶5 discusses its third function, organizing time, and notes that this is particularly
important to the definition of youth.
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Re: American culture changed forever in the latter part of the twentieth c  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Oct 2018, 11:12

Answers and Explanations OE


1)

What is the author‘s primary purpose in the passage? An easy one: the author wants to discuss the social functions of music. (D) fits the bill.
(A): Faulty Use of Detail. The author does this as a side-note to describing popular music‘s function of organizing time, but it‘s only a detail.
(B): Out of Scope. There are no theories other than the author‘s own in the passage.
(C): Out of Scope. The author discusses other forms of popular culture, like sports, but only as a way of further describing the functions of music.
(D): The correct answer
(E): Origination of pop music is not the concern of the passage

2)

Where is classical music mentioned in the passage? It isn‘t! How could we figure out anything about classical music, then? Predict: by relating it to music in general. The author notes in ¶5 that ―one of the effects of all music, not just pop, is to focus our attention on the feeling of time, and intensify our experience of the present.‖ Therefore, both pop music and classical music must focus attention on time, since this is a general quality of music. (C) says the same.
(A): Faulty Use of Detail. This is a social function of pop music, but the author doesn‘t suggest that it‘s a function of music in general.
(B): Faulty Use of Detail. The author uses this phrasing in describing ―popular love songs‖ but again gives no indication that it‘s a function of music in general.
(C): The correct answer
(D): Faulty Use of Detail. The author argues in ¶5 that pop music defines what youth is, but doesn‘t argue a similar function for music in general.
(E): The author does not say this for both types of music.
Strategy Point: Don’t panic when a question throws a curve ball in the form of an unfamiliar situation or terminology that’s not in the passage. If it’s in a question, it can be related back to the passage; you just need to figure out how.

3)

A question about the author's tone, scan the answer choices and note that only (C) is positive. Is the author's tone positive? Go back to ¶4 to review: the author says that the love songs "give shape and voice to emotions that otherwise cannot be expressed without embarrassment or incoherence.‖ The author also notes that the songs express feeling ―for us in interesting and involving ways.‖ The author is positive, and therefore (C) is correct.
(A): Opposite. The author argues that love songs are the antidote to banal language by expressing the same ideas in interesting ways.
(B): Opposite. The author argues that our own expressions of feeling can be emotionally incoherent and that love songs help to compensate for this.
(C): The correct answer
(D): Opposite. The author clearly believes that popular love songs have an important social function: the management of feelings.
(E): The author is not disgusted by anything. Note: Noting the author's tone (positive, negative, or neutral) helps narrow down answer choices with a quick vertical scan.

4)

What does the author do in the last paragraph? Predict from your map: The author describes the third function of popular music, the organization of time, and its relevance to the definition of youth. (B) captures the author‘s focus on youth.
(A): Distortion. The author briefly discusses the experience of youth, but only in the context of how youth relates to popular music, which this choice leaves out entirely.
(B): The correct answer
(C): Out of Scope. This choice tries to capitalize on words familiar from the passage: ―organization‖ and ―youth.‖ Time is organized, and youth is defined through popular music, but nothing at all is said about the organization of youth movements.
(D): Faulty Use of Detail. Though the author does discuss the relationship between music and time, it‘s done so particularly in the context of how it relates to youth, a topic that this choice completely omits.
(E): The passage never discusses the ‗decline‘ of pop music
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Re: American culture changed forever in the latter part of the twentieth c &nbs [#permalink] 25 Oct 2018, 11:12
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